The world’s equal number one sprinter Lankan Rupee heads the nominations for the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Lankan Rupee is only one of ten sprinters entered for the 1000m dash down the Flemington straight with the Victoria Racing Club extending nominations until 10am local time on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.
Group 1 winner Tiger Tees from the Joe Pride stable is among the entries while Chris Waller has entered his three year old Group 1 winner Brazen Beau to take on the older horses for the first time at weight for age.
The undefeated Deep Field from the Team Hawkes stable will certainly put a lot of interest into the race stepping up to Group 1 level for the first time.
Other sprinters that are listed in the early nominations for the Black Caviar Lightning are Iconic, Sweet Emily, Tawteen, The Quarterback, Vain Queen and west Australian trained Watermans Bay.
Lankan Rupee made a special appearance at Caulfield last Saturday in a solo galloper in between races with Dale Smith in the saddle.
But regular rider Craig Newitt, who is based in Singapore these days, will return on Saturday to partner the giant sprinter hoping to add another Group 1 trophy to the three the pair have already collected together.
Newit and Lankan Rupee have combined to win the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield and the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the 2014 Autumn Carnival as well as the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in the Spring.
Trainer Mick Price is more than pleased with the progress of the Redoute’s Choice five year old and was happy with the way he stretched out on Saturday.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way he is going, and the fact that he is learning to settle off the pace a bit to have one good final burst,” Price told the Herald Sun.
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the Hawkes stable would keep the ride on Deep Field secure for Dwayne Dunn until after the outcome of his appeal against a careless riding suspension later in the week.
Dunn was suspended for eight meetings for letting his mount Top Me Up shift in at the 800m in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The suspension started at midnight on Saturday night and is due to expire at midnight this coming Saturday, February 21, and Dunn is hoping to get at least one meeting shaved off the term to enable him to the ride Deep Field on Saturday.
“He (Dunn) is still booked to ride Deep Field,” Hawkes told Correct Weight on RSN.
“He’s going to appeal, so we’ll just roll the dice and see what happens.”
Hawkes said that if Dunn’s appeal is dismissed, he would have no trouble securing a suitable replacement rider.
Three year old Brazen Beau showed his class in the Spring with a victory in the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1 and will get his chance to take on the open sprinters down the Flemington straight again.